Whoever receives the one I send receives me… (John 13: 20)
In the first reading of this day, St. Paul speaks in the synagogue in Antioch. As the good teacher he is, he tells his listeners things they already know well and regularly recount in their liturgy. His actual message is at the end: John the Baptizer, who had the respect of the congregation, had said of himself and Jesus: “What do you suppose that I am? I am not he. Behold, one is coming after me: I am not worthy to unfasten the sandals of his feet.”
Unfastening sandals and washing feet, because of the filth involved, were unclean tasks and relegated to slaves.
In the Gospel, Jesus has just washed the feet of his disciples and says to them: “Amen, amen, I say to you, no slave is greater than his master, nor any messenger greater than the one who sent him.” In this way Jesus speaks of his relationship to the Father. Later he adds: “Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.”
We never know who God will send to us as his representative. Therefore, it is best to treat everyone as if they were from God. This is especially good to remember as we contemplate our bold action. What a rich opportunity to meet and interact with God!
Sr. Theresa Jezl, CPPS